Former U.S. Rep Lois Capps to Keynote COL Commencement, April 29

Capps to be Honored for her Two Decades of Local Public Service

SANTA BARBARA and VENTURA, Calif. – The Honorable Lois Capps, retired member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree and address The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law’s (COL) graduating Class of 2017. The commencement ceremony will begin at noon on Saturday, April 29, at the Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara. Capps will be honored for her nearly 20 years of public service.

Capps was first elected to Congress in 1998 to fill a seat left vacant by the untimely death of her husband, Walter. She defended the seat during the general election later that year and ultimately served in Congress for nearly two decades, retiring on January 3, 2017.

Prior to answering the call to public service. Capps dedicated her professional life to nursing and education, two vocations that informed her priorities while on Capitol Hill. While there she advanced critical healthcare issues including public health, domestic violence against women, underage drinking, mental health services, and provide Medicare coverage for patients suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). In 2002, Rep. Capps wrote a law providing scholarships and grants to train more nurses, immediately addressing the national nursing shortage. She also championed environmental causes, including leading efforts to stop new oil and gas drilling off the Central Coast and throughout California.

“Congresswoman Capps was a responsive legislator who cared deeply about her individual constituents and their health and success,” said Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem and COL Trustee Carmen Ramirez who nominated Capps for the COL honorary degree. “Her work protecting the priceless environment that we live in won’t be forgotten. Our region was fortunate to have her representation for so many years. It is wonderful to have this opportunity to honor her for her years of service to our community.”

As commencement speaker, Capps joins a distinguished list of local public servants invited to address a Colleges of Law graduating class. Recent keynote speakers include the Honorable Joyce Dudley, current District Attorney of Santa Barbara County; the Honorable Gregory Totten, current District Attorney of Ventura County; Judge Michele Castillo, Ventura County Superior Court; and Justice Steven Z. Perren of the California Court of Appeal.

Capps will join trustees, faculty, staff, family, and guests gathering on April 29 to celebrate the 38 members of COL’s Class of 2017. Representing the Santa Barbara Campus are graduates Leesa Andrade, Jessica Anticouni, Danny Arroyo, Miguel Avila, Diana Bordsen Mercier, Jillian Cardona, Angelica Caro, Chandra Carr, Samuel Carter, Michael Chaloupka, Eduardo Cortés, Susana Cruz, Amy Shiffman Hendel, Nicole Hornick, Gregory Jones, Erika Martín del Campo, Jasfer Nepomuceno, Matthew Olufs, James Paulding, Tyler Sprague, Lindsay Stone, Erich Tomkinson, and Antonio Zavalablanco. Candidates from the Ventura Campus are Daniel Bautista, Joshua Carolan, Kaim Chisti, Karen Drake, Kevin Eisenberg, Kirk Ellison, Jessica Henderson, Lauren Martinez, Sam Mojabi, Donna Munyon, Lindsay Parrotta, Anna Rakestraw, Sheri Valley, Robert Vojtik, and Grayson Yoder.

About The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law

Established in 1969, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) was founded to expand opportunities and broaden access to legal education. COL is dedicated to a student-centered approach that affords students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue careers in law or legal-related fields. The Colleges’ faculty advances a real-world perspective and practicality on the application of law and includes practicing attorneys, judges, public servants, and leaders in business and non-profit organizations. An accredited nonprofit institution, COL offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program. COL is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California. For more information, visit

The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact.